• Loddon Herald

Roads, phones on radar


IN THE months since my last prospective article a lot has happened, and a lot has changed.

I would like to start by welcoming our new Loddon Shire CEO, Lincoln Fitzgerald. Lincoln has an extensive history in Local Government, I believe he will be a great attribute and a good fit to Loddon,

I look forward to working with him very soon. I congratulate and thank all candidates whom applied, and no doubt we will be seeing big things from you all in the future.

Over the past 14 weeks, Loddon Shire has been in the very capable hands of Acting CEO Ms Jude Holt. Jude’s time at Loddon is coming to an end as she takes a step back from corporate life and enjoys a well-earned retirement.

I have not known Jude that long, but I don’t think Jude is the type to ever fully retire.

All the very best Jude, it has been a pleasure to work with you, your efforts and dedication to Loddon have been second to none.

Over the past months councillors have been working with council to deliver the next Loddon Shire community vision and council plan.

There has been a lot of work put in by dedicated volunteers from the community advisory group, the vision and plan draft documents have been out for public exhibition and will be discussed further by council before final adoption.

This has been an exciting time and will help shape the future of the Loddon Shire and its community.

We are in the middle of spring now and with the wet winter we had and now good spring rain, the agriculture sector is in good stead for a bumper hay and grain harvest.

Livestock prices continue in a strong position for Loddon farmers and bring much needed prosperity to our region.

The wet conditions have hindered some farming and transport business making it difficult to navigate wet, slippery dirt roads.

This is an ongoing issue that I have been working through with our director of operations to find solutions.

At the same time, I have been in communications with Victorian Farmers’ Federation Grains Group, concerned farmers and Loddon Shire to work through issues regarding B-Double truck access across the shire to key grain receival points.

Several roads have been gazetted, please seek additional information via the VicRoads website. I will continue to advocate on these matters.

Telecommunication - internet and mobile phone coverage across the shire - is continuing to struggle, this is a big disadvantage to residents living in black spot areas, not just jeopardising business, home-schooling, volunteering and social interactions to name a few but poses a great risk to the safety of thousands of people living in rural Victoria if they ca not contact emergency services for help.

Digital connectivity is a necessity in the modern world we live in, technology is developing faster than infrastructure upgrades, (we are being left behind). Council has been advocating strongly on this issue.

Finally, Pyramid Hill streetscape plans are coming together, extensive consultation has taken place with the community advisory group to shape the direction and look of the town.

This project has been on the Loddon Shire books for several years and will rejuvenate the entrances into town, Kelly

Street, Lions Park and Kelly Park.

In recent weeks Paul Scullie and I have meet with user groups from Serpentine’s Janiember Park and Mitiamo’s Recreation Reserve precinct to discuss much needed lighting upgrades.

New lighting is essential, not just for football and netball safety while training but for future proofing these facilities for community use and opportunities for utilisation.

The health of the Loddon Shire in my opinion is prosperous, businesses continue to move to and expand across the Shire, taking advantage of the great country lifestyle and creating valuable jobs for all.

Cr Straub is the Terrick Ward representative on Loddon Shire Council.

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